For nearly an hour, Kelly and Protasiewicz battled at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s headquarters in Madison — accusing each other of running deceitful campaigns and being an unprecedented danger to the state.
Protasiewicz called Kelly one of the most “extremely partisan candidates” in the history of the state.
“He is a true threat to our democracy,” she said, citing legal counsel Kelly provided to state GOP officials while they planned to submit false paperwork claiming to be electors for former President Donald Trump following Trump’s defeat in 2020.
Kelly repeatedly called Protasiewicz a liar and said the only way to restore trust in the Supreme Court would be for him to be elected. …
Kelly said he would not accept millions from the state Republican Party because he does not want to be known as a Supreme Court justice who is “bought and paid for.”
“I understand my opponent has been accepting millions of dollars from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and I think that presents a major problem,” Kelly said. “If she were to be elected to the Supreme Court, she would forever afterwards be known as being bought and paid for by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.”
Kelly in his unsuccessful 2020 campaign also used the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s offices as his campaign headquarters and state GOP staff are providing 2023 campaign help in the form of communications and research. He also has received contributions from the state GOP, including around $4,000 in March.
Protasiewicz said she would recuse herself from hearing lawsuits brought by or against the Democratic Party of Wisconsin because of the millions of dollars the state party has funneled into her campaign.
She accused Kelly of already being “bought and paid for” by the Republicans because he worked for the party and Republican National Committee for two years on election issues and was paid nearly $120,000. Kelly said he is an attorney and is hired by many clients.